Prepare to explore the city in a whole new way from Tuesday November 11
Emily O’Connell and Holly Sands
The Dubai Tram will travel on a loop from Al Sufouh up to Dubai Marina, around the development and back again, on a track that runs 10.6km in total. Each journey will pass 11 stations, including Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Marina and Al Sufouh Road, and the entire vehicle will carry up to 405 commuters at any one time. Passengers, of which an estimated 27,000 are expected to use the tram daily, will pay for their journeys by Nol card – also used on the city’s Metro and buses. The route’s current incarnation is only at phase one. Tenders for phase two – expanding the network by 5km to reach the Burj Al Arab and Mall of the Emirates – will be taken next year, with the entire project set to be completed before 2020. For more information visit www.rta.ae.
Tickets and timings The tram fare system will be the same as that used on the Dubai Metro, with one-day passes starting from Dhs20. Trams will run 5am to 1am daily, arriving every six minutes during peak hours and every eight to ten minutes during off-peak hours.
Amwaj Rotana One of the best value-for-money options along The Walk, what Amwaj lacks by way of a private beach it makes up for in its fully equipped gym and fitness centre, and great places to eat. Try Italian at Rosso or enjoy international eats in Horizon (ladies get two free drinks here every single night). The Walk, JBR, www.rotana.com (04 428 2000).
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort Constructed back in 2000, this JBR stalwart has stood through the changes along the Jumeirah coastline. Despite its slightly aged exterior, it still remains a favourite, with the hotel’s nine restaurants and cafés catering well to visitors while offering a licensed alternative to The Walk. The beach club, VIP facilities and watersports allow you to relax or be active. The Walk, JBR, www3.hilton.com (04 399 1111).
JA Ocean View Hotel Located on The Walk, this minimalist, sea-themed hotel is home to a number of outlets including 25th floor grape bar The Whistler, popular pub Girders and hot new exercise facility Speedflex. The Walk, JBR, www.jaresortshotels.com (04 814 5599).
Radisson Blu Dubai Marina These hotel apartments place you at the centre of Dubai Marina, just a short stroll from some of the best nightlife spots in the city. The Radisson Blu comes complete with a sauna, fitness centre, pools, spa and health club, and a choice of Italian and Asian restaurants, too. Dubai Marina, www.radissonblu.com (04 435 5000).
Sheraton Jumeirah Resort A stylish resort property with a good stretch of sand, decent beach club, spacious gardens and a fine swimming pool, the Sheraton is located on The Walk close to Dubai Marina. The hotel is home to multiple bars and restaurants including Bliss Lounge and Palm Garden, which hosts a top-notch Friday brunch. The Walk, JBR, www.sheratonjumeirahbeach.com (04 399 5533).
The Address Dubai Marina This hotel offers chilled out vibes alongside the chic Marina area. With easy access to a range of trendsetting restaurants, Dubai Marina Yacht Club and the dynamic nightlife locations of the Marina, The Address is at the centre of one of Dubai’s most cosmopolitan districts. Dubai Marina, www.theaddress.com (04 436 7777). The Ritz-Carlton Dubai Even those with the most discerning palates will like the fine dining options available, from Italian fare at Splendido and regional cuisine at Amaseena, to the poolside snacks by the Gulf Pavilion. Check out Splendido’s international brunch on every Friday, which includes unlimited bubbly as well as Italian house grape and hops. The Walk, JBR, www.ritzcarlton.com (04 399 4000).
The Westin Dubai From watersports, yachting and spas to bar-hopping and brunch, the Westin boasts an impressive roster of activities for you to enjoy. We take our hats off to this lavish establishment that manages to combine a lively Friday brunch (spanning three restaurants and including unlimited bubbly and food) with the highest standards of service and luxury. Al Sufouh Road, www.westinminaseyahi.com (04 399 4141).
Eton Institute This institute offers business skills, internationally accredited courses in more than 100 languages, teacher training, computer training, business skills training and customised corporate training solutions, all from its campus in the heart of Dubai Knowledge village. Block 3, Dubai Knowledge Village, www.etoninstitute.com (04 438 6800).
Make Business Hub Head to Make with your MacBook or you might feel out of place. If you haven’t got one, they’re available to borrow (along with iPads) at this futuristic, industrial, hipster hangout. With friendly staff and delicious food, the hub is also an ideal spot for entrepreneurial business meals. Plug in and finish off that all-important report or attend one of the topical gatherings that take place at the venue every so often. Level One, Al Fattan House, JBR, www.makebusinesshub.com (04 392 9216)
Dreamworks As the name suggests, a trip to this spa will transform even the most stressed into a zen-like state of sleepy calm. The staff are all trained in Bali and are famed for providing some of the best reflexology treatments in the city. Balinese massage from Dhs240. Dubai Marina, www.dreamworks.ae (04 368 9408).
Formul’a French hairdressing academy Sure, you have to be a guinea pig for students practising to be trained professionals, but all treatments and cuts are conducted under the watchful gaze of a supervisor and are completely free! If you want to follow up with a colour, dye jobs start from Dhs100. Appointments are a must. Free. Appointments available 9.30am and 1.30pm. Dubai Knowledge Village, www.formula-academy.net (04 438 0122).
Rami Jabali Salon & Spa
This salon in JBR is large and stylish, with plenty of open space and natural light. It’s owned by expert colourist and the venue’s namesake, Rami Jabali. There’s also complimentary parking for all clients. Haircut and blow-dry from Dhs280. Murjan 3, JBR, www.ramijabali.com (04 3630369).
The Cure A favourite of ladies in the know. Head to this female pampering parlour to get hands, feet and faces seen to, all while you relax with a cup of tea and a few episodes of Friends. Building 10, Dubai Media City, www.thecure.ae (04 391 6485).
Club Stretch The club teaches bikram yoga and Pilates. Members are encouraged to think positively about their bodies and fitness. They also offer a teacher training programme for Pilates. Marina View Towers, Dubai Marina www.clubstretch.ae (04 431 1758).
Fidelity Fitness Adding some class to fitness, members get the luxury of an infinity pool, exclusive changing rooms and sauna as well as relaxation areas and an organic juice bar. The facilities are undeniably lavish and guaranteed to whip you into shape. Al Fattan House, Jumeirah Beach Residence, www.fidelityfitnessclub.com, (04 392 8121).
Rawr Yoga A popular spot for Media City office workers post-6pm, this bikram yoga studio runs daily 90-minute sessions designed to stretch and wear you out. Not for the faint-hearted. Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, www.rawryoga.com (04 423 2808).
TribeFit More of a social club than a gym, TribeFit encourages members to get fit and socialise with group classes, events and personal training. The gym boasts a jam-packed social calendar of monthly parties, brunches, camping trips and more. Sounds like our kind of fitness! Silverene Tower next to Dubai Marina Mall, www.tribefit.com (800 87423).
Art and culture
Gallery One The contemporary gallery sells prints and paintings that will brighten up your home or office. It stocks a diverse range of vibrant paper and canvas editions specific to Dubai and can deliver products directly to you. The Walk, JBR, www.g-1.com (04 423 1987).
Mirath Art Center From performing arts and music to drawing and painting classes, Mirath Art Center offers something to anyone who wants to get creative. With development classes that improve reading, critical thinking and even martial arts skills for adults and children, you’re bound to find something that floats your creative boat. Amwaj 3, JBR, www.mirathcenter.com (04 434 0128).
Nifty Little Things This retro women’s craft group creates homemade gifts and home decor inspired by a classic ’50s style. With a love for all things creative and vintage, owner Lizmar Hilton hosts friendly workshops and sells her own products. Elite Residence, Dubai Marina, www.niftylittlethings.ae (056 724 2569).
We have to admit even we found this one difficult to resist. Arabian Water Parks is a 50-metre inflatable playground made up of trampolines, slides and climbing walls, and is just as much for the adults as it is for the kids. Dhs60 (adults), Dhs50 (kids), Dhs195 (day pass). Daily 8am-noon, 3pm-7pm. The Beach, JBR, www.arabianwaterparks.com. (04 388 3223).
Kidville The celeb-endorsed New York haunt of both Madonna’s and Brangelina’s broods opened up its first branch outside the US in July 2010. Four years later, this all-singing, all-dancing nursery is just as popular as you’d imagine. With a relaxed and unregimented atmosphere, it’s safe to say your kids will have a ball. The Walk, JBR, www.mykdville.ae, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 440 1220).
Play A Round Play A Round provides a place for kids to get active or relax. Offering a range of activities from neon-lit mini golf to ‘baby and mommy yoga’, the nursery encourages little ones to have fun. Jewels Tower 2, Dubai Marina, www.playaround.ae (04 457 0455).
Sega Republic This mega arcade offers you and your kids a colourful ambiance and games suitable for children aged four and up. For a dose of adrenaline and excitement, Sega Republic provides a great bit of weekend amusement. Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, www.segarepublic.com (04 448 8488).
Dubai Marina Mall A triumph among residents of Dubai Marina and JBR, the mall is home to more than 160 stores and a cinema. With plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and some très chic views of the waterfront, it’s the perfect place for some low-key retail therapy. Dubai Marina, www.dubaimarinamall.com, (04 436 1020)
Marina Walk This trendy waterside promenade runs around the edges of the marina and boasts an impressive number of restaurants and cafés. Check out British-Indian fare at The Rupee Room (04 440 9300) – reservations recommended – and Pei Wei (04 4341496) for some light Asian goodness.
Pier 7 Currently the place to be, and to be seen opening a restaurant in Dubai Marina, this cylindrical tower is home to cool new casual (and licensed) dining concepts Fumé (04 421 5669) and Simon Rimmer’s The Scene (04 422 2328) as well as the likes of Asia-inspired bar Cargo (04 361 8129) and restaurant-lounge Atelier M (04 450 7766). View Pier 7 venue guide
The Beach One of the newest developments along the beachfront, The Beach offers some of JBR’s best dining options. With more than 17 different places to devour breakfast, lunch or dinner, the choice will satisfy most tastes. Some of our favourites include burgers from The Counter (www.thecounterburger.com) creative rolls from Sushi Art (800 220) and fresh juices from Fruteiro do Brasil (www.facebook.com/fruteirodubai). View The Beach at JBR profile
If you haven’t been tempted by what’s on offer at The Beach you can still silence that grumbling stomach at one of the many places to eat along JBR’s jam-packed strip. From casual dining options and the likes of gourmet deli Saladicious (04 345 5822) to fine northern Italian cuisine at Frankie’s Italian Bar and Grill (04 399 4311), The Walk’s got it all.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know the score with this one. Dubai’s best-known beach bar serves up live music, food and drinks from the early afternoon into the early hours. Both quintessentially Dubai and unlike anything else in the city, Barasti is the place to be for chilled out vibes. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh Road, www.barastibeach.com (04 318 1313). Bliss Lounge
The lounge promises relaxed afternoons and jamming evenings. Resident DJ Alex Amoralez & Mary G mix the best tunes and the cool and chic beachside venue remains practically tourist-free. Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, Dubai Marina, www.blissloungedubai.com (04 399 5533). Jetty Lounge Offering a taste of the high life, Jetty Lounge effortlessly combines the vibes of an exclusively stylish bar with a relaxed beachside hangout. One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road, www.royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 399 9999). Pure Sky Lounge The hip 35th floor hangout flaunts ocean views and elegant, contemporary vibes. A daily happy hour makes it the place to be for sundowners, while the lounge’s Think Pink ladies’ night offers unlimited drinks on Tuesdays. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences, JBR (04 374 7888). Story Rooftop Lounge Within the Catalonian graffiti-covered walls, the lounge hosts groovy Dust club nights and the ideal space to wind down after a long week in the office. We won’t hold its slightly try-hard attempt to appear edgy against it. The wannabe-hipster hangout is a pretty cool spot on weekend clubnights. Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Internet City, www.storydubai.com (04 365 9911).
Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Lounge Dark, smoky and slightly tacky, this Trader Vic’s is typical of the four venues in the city, however it can’t be denied that these traits are why we love it so. The lounge is hidden from tourists above a shopping centre at the heart of JBR, rammed with expats shamelessly enjoying their evenings. The Walk, JBR, www.tradervics.com (04 399 8993). Wavebreaker Smack bang in the centre of JBR, Wavebreaker’s simplistic concept of hearty food makes it one of the most casual places to enjoy on the beach. Get there early on weekends to nab a seat on the sand. Hilton Dubai Jumeriah Resort, The Walk, JBR, www3.hilton.com (04 399 1111).
With the tram running along both the Marina and JBR you have an array of big screens to choose from. Usually quieter than others, you can always find a seat at the boutique cinema at Dubai Marina Mall. But if you fancy a bit more of a mingle with the rest of society head up to the ten-screen complex at The Beach in JBR. Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina (04 449 1903). Other location: The Beach, JBR, www.reelcinemas.ae (04 449 1988).
La Playa Beach Lounge With the weather cooling down and barbeque season kicking off, there’s nothing better than catching a film on the sand under the stars. You can chill out on stylish white loungers and enjoy a film or live sporting events. It screens two films daily, showing a kids’ film first and an action flick from 6.30pm. Dhs200 per person on live events nights. Dhs50 standard. Free for kids under ten. Daily 4.30pm. The Walk, JBR, www.laplayalounge.com (052 690 8648).